West Bank’s Palestinian Authority is increasingly being criticised for quashing dissent
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has pardoned a journalist accused of “insulting” him, one day after a West Bank appeals court sentenced him to a year in prison.
Mamdouh Hamamreh, Bethlehem correspondent at the pro-Hamas Palestinian satellite channel al-Quds, was arrested and charged in October 2012 for publishing “hate-filled” content about the president online.
The content included a picture, posted on Hamamreh’s personal Facebook page, of Abbas next to an image of a popular TV villain from a programme about French colonialism in the Levant.
A caption underneath read: “They’re alike.”
Authorities claimed the post made the president out to be a traitor.
The Palestinian Authority is increasingly coming under fire for behaviour deemed repressive.
In February, a Palestinian court sentenced 26-year-old university student Anas Awwad to a year in jail for “cursing the president” on Facebook.